Fourth Indian Ocean Conference 2019 held in Male

Fourth Indian Ocean Conference 2019 was recently held in Male, capital of Maldives. The two-day conference was held from 3-4 September 2019. Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was one of the speakers at Indian Ocean Conference 2019 event.

About Fourth Indian Ocean Conference 2019

Chair of the conference: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Organiser: It was organised by India Foundation (based in New Delhi), in association with Government of Maldives and S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.

Participants: Ministers, officials and scholars from several countries are attending the 2-day event.

Theme for 4th Indian Ocean Conference 2019 was: ‘Securing the Indian Ocean Region: Traditional and Non-Traditional Challenges’.

Conference discussion themes were grouped under 3 broad categories of-

  • Marine Ecology: Climate Change, Global warming and consequent rise of sea levels, pollution, sustainable harnessing of oceanic resources
  • Navigational Security: Freedom of navigation, United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and its effective implementation, natural and manmade hazards to navigation, piracy
  • Terrorism: Rising spectre of terrorism in IOR, marine terrorism

Importance of IOR: With Indian Ocean region coming to global focus such as China seeking to increase its foothold in the region and with increasing need for countries from across the region to come together to confront terrorism and violent extremism, the littoral countries, including India gathered for a 2-day conference in Male. Many of the challenges faced by IOR poses serious and immediate problems for the region. Therefore these challenges require concerted and sustained partnership efforts across region and beyond.


Key issues for IOR underlined during conference include-

  • Climate change, Rising sea water levels
  • Hazardous levels of sea pollution are leading to depletion of marine livestock. Also, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing elude consensus in international deliberation
  • Proper implementation of maritime laws under UNCLOS
  • Combating illicit trafficking of humans and narcotics

Participants countries of Indian Ocean region (IOR) agreed to enhance intra-regional cooperation through participating in and strengthening formal intergovernmental bodies such as Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

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